Subject Consultation Groups

Design and Technology Association Subject Consultation Groups

Subject Consultation Groups: What are they and why do we have them?

The Association is run for its members. As a membership association funded by subscriptions it is important that there is a mechanism for members:

  • to have a voice and speak on behalf of the broader membership of the Association
  • to keep the Association staff in touch with the daily work of members and suggest how the Association can support members effectively
  • to help in the development of resources, CPD and membership benefits
  • to assist, advise and support executive staff.

The groups have no legal role; they are advisory and contribute to the Association’s work in a number of ways.

The Primary and Secondary groups meet jointly to cover the range of D&T education across all phases.

  • What do they do and how often do they meet?

Subject Consultation groups meet on Saturdays a maximum of three times a year (max one meeting per term) and will consider/discuss agenda items that will include:

  • a short presentation by the executive updating groups on the D&T Association’s agenda and plans for the year
  • a working session developing resources, CPD or other materials
  • feedback on teachers’ needs, membership magazines, resources, curriculum matters and group members’ schools and activities
  • reports from group members – including updates on their current work and challenges or issues that are affecting them.
  • group responses – supporting and developing responses to national issues of concern, such as consultations, curriculum, examination review.

Who is on the group?

Members of Subject Consultation Groups must also be individual or departmental members of the Design and Technology Association.

The groups typically consist of a maximum of 16 members and will include:

  • Design and Technology Association executive staff member
  • members who have expressed an interest through a written application
  • additional members can be invited by executive staff to ensure a balance of sector and phase expertise.

How can you join?

The Association invites members to express an interest in joining a Subject Consultation Group. There is a simple nomination process for members wishing to join a particular phase.

Applications will be reviewed by the Executive and, if appropriate, the person will be accepted to the group provided there are spaces available or, if full, will be held on a waiting list.

In applying for and joining a Subject Consultation Group, members of the groups are expected to make a commitment to attend regularly and to seek permission from their own Headteacher or line manager. (Please note that while these meetings will be held on Saturdays, it is important that your Headteacher and/or line manager are aware of your attendance). Please fill in the form at the bottom and send to

What is expected of the group member?

  • The Association recognises that group members are busy, working professionals, but asks that they contribute regularly to the meetings and agenda by:
    • Keeping Association staff in touch with the daily work of members and suggesting how the Association can best support members effectively
    • Promoting membership and the Association to others
    • Having a voice and speaking on behalf of the broader membership of the Association
    • Reviewing and revising existing resources and help in the development of new resources in workshops and outside group meetings
    • Acting as consultants assisting the Association in aspects of its work within and outside of group meetings
    • Widening the expertise of and assist, advise and support the Executive team
    • Providing contributions in the form of feedback and occasional articles for membership publications
    • Occasionally answering members’ questions on phase-related curriculum issues (responding through the Association).
  • To actively support the work of the group and the Association, for example by offering to attend meetings on the Association’s behalf, reviewing a publication or resource, helping another member with a query or arranging for a visit to your school. Or contributing to the D&T Association, for example, through an article, a presentation, an item for the website, or helping to write a new publication or resource.

If a member attends less than two meetings in any year or is unable to continue to play an active role, the Association reserves the right to discontinue membership of the group.

What is the benefit to the group members?

We recognise that it is not always easy to attend meetings in work time, therefore, Curriculum Consultation Group meetings are scheduled to take place on Saturdays. This requires members to give up their own time to work on behalf of other members.

This is an opportunity to consider, influence and contribute to design & technology practice and thinking nationally.

The Association cannot pay for meeting attendance but will pay travel expenses (in line with Association guidelines) and lunch will be provided.

You will:

  • hear the latest curriculum developments about your area of D&T to take back to your school or institution
  • become involved in developing and piloting the latest initiatives, programmes and resources – be the first to comment on government proposals, excellent for career progression
  • keep up to date with your professional development and support your school or institution
  • network with like-minded colleagues and gain ideas, share best practice and help for your school or institution
  • acknowledgement of your contribution to the work of the Association in publications and to your headteacher
  • In addition, you will be making a worthwhile contribution to the Association on behalf of its members and have your say about the services we provide.

Membership term

Members will be elected for two academic years (please note that initial membership will run from Summer 2018 to Summer 2020).

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Design and Technology (D&T) is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.

We are focused on giving you the tools, knowledge and information you need to become more effective, more experienced and more efficient. Giving you access to expert opinions. And creating a place where you can air your views, ask your questions and so help make a difference to your life and those of your pupils. We want to hear from you. We want to know how we can help. And we want you to join us.

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